Initiatives, Recalls and Referendums
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California voters are able to exert great influence over the state's political landscape. Ballot initiatives allow citizens to design potential legislation. This year's election includes seven statewide ballot measures like guaranteed abortion rights in the state's constitution, dedicated funding for arts and music education, and legalized sports betting. These ballot measures have a history that stretches to 1911 when, under progressive Governor Hiram Johnson, the California legislature adopted a state constitutional amendment that allowed for the ballot initiative. Focused on addressing political corruption at a time when many saw state legislators as too cozy with big business, California progressives found great popularity during the early years of the twentieth century.
Have your students explore the latest issue of Initiatives, Recalls, and Referendums and try new activities designed to have them critically engage with the upcoming election.